Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Mark John Staszkiewicz, D.Ed.

Fourth Advisor

Becky A. Knickelbein, D.Ed.


This project examines the effects of supplemental instruction in phonological awareness, home literacy activities, sex, and environmental factors on the emerging literacy skills of kindergarten students. Research indicates that the foundation for good reading begins to develop well before school through interaction between children and their home and community environments. The linguistic richness of a child’s early environment as well as their ability to access that environment are factors in reading readiness. Research indicates that a reading weakness needs to be identified and remediated as early as possible in the child’s learning career. In this study, the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) was used to identify kindergarten students’ weaknesses in phonological processing. Students who demonstrated weaknesses on the pre-test of the CTOPP were provided with supplemental instruction in phonological processing using the Road to the Code curriculum. At the end of the school year, the students were post-tested with the CTOPP. A MANOVA was used to determine whether the differences between the three groups of students lower group (LG); middle group MG; and, higher group (HG) were mitigated. The effect of home literacy activities on development of phonological processing skills was assessed using Pearson Product Moment correlation to determine whether the frequency of particular activities correlated with composite scores on the CTOPP. Results suggested that instruction in phonological awareness improved both phonological awareness and phonological memory skills and mitigated the difference between the lower scoring students and middle scoring students in phonological awareness on the CTOPP. Telling stories to children, reading to children, and singing songs and listening to music were weakly, positively correlated to scores on the Phonological Awareness composite of the CTOPP. Telling stories and teaching letters and numbers to children were both weakly positively correlated to the Phonological Memory composite of the CTOPP. Sex of the student, preschool attendance, one or two parent families, and one or two parents working were not significant influences on the development of phonological processing skills of students in the district.